What Can Separate Us From God
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Alphabetical Listing of George Kirkpatrick's Writings
There is a saying: "If God seems far away, guess who moved?" Paul asks a question:
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Romans 8:35:
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? The word who is the Greek Word TIS and would have been more properly translated "what". After Paul asked the question, he gave probabilities: tribulation, distress (anguish), persecution, famine, nakedness, peril (danger), and sword. Then he quotes:
"Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter." Psalms 44:22:
Then immediately he answers, "NAY" or "NO"!
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
All the things Paul spoke of: tribulation, distress, persecution, and famine are things that can only affect the flesh. Paul has given us the absolute assurance nothing that happens to the flesh can separate us from the love of God. We know God is love and that nothing can separate us from His love.
None of the things listed here can separate us from God; not things present or things to come. Many are distressed about the shape of the government, the national debt, the banking systems, and the savings and loans that are about to collapse.
Another concern is the moral condition of the nation, the drug abuse by children, abortion, and promiscuous sex. If we were concerned about things present, there would be enough to keep us busy.
Many are also distressed about things to come, which are the climax of the things that are listed above. These can bring about great anxiety. But these things are not to concern those who have their eyes on Christ and His coming Kingdom. We can depend on the love of God that will never fail.
The things Paul spoke of in Romans 8:37-39, we have no control over. But there are things that will separate us from God, and we are exhorted in God's Word to take control over these so they will not keep us from entering the Kingdom of God. What are those things that can separate us from God?
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:30-32
What are those things that can separate us from God?
Grieving the Holy Spirit
Paul writes about grieving the Holy Spirit. He then gives a list of things that grieve the Holy Spirit. The first is bitterness. When bitterness comes in our life, this grieves the Holy Spirit. This bitterness could be against another brother or sister, against your boss, landlord, neighbor, acquaintance, or against God Himself. This bitterness will separate you from those around you and will separate you from God. The writer of Hebrews states:
". . .Lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Hebrews 12:15
The second thing that will separate us from God is wrath, or hot anger. This happens when we allow anger to enter in. Anger grieves the Holy Spirit of God. Anger is the strongest of all passions and does the most damage to the physical body. It can actually cause illness. We are told not to provoke our children to anger, Colossians 3:21. Anger will separate us from God.
Clamour and Sowing Discord
Clamour is the third thing that will separate us from God. The word clamour is the Greek word KRAUGE and means a "tumult of controversy". There are those who are constantly the center of controversy. This controversy separates and divides God's people. It sows discord.
"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19
God hates the first six things listed in Proverbs 6:16-19, but the seventh is an abomination to Him, which is the one who soweth discord among the brethren. A clamorous person will be separated from God.
The fourth thing that can separate us from the love of God is evil speaking. The Greek word for this phrase is BLASPHEMIA. This is the same word as blaspheme and means "to injure by speech". James tells us:
". . .If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." James 3:2
James also relates the tongue is a little member and boasts great things:
". . .Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." James 3:5-6
The tongue can separate us from God. The tongue may speak many things that do not glorify God. The tongue can express malice, strife, envy, contention, and gossip. The tongue can speak both good and evil. James relates these things should not be.
Our relationship to God is through the Holy Spirit. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, then our relationship with God is severed until that grievous act has been healed. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, we may find ourselves very cold and empty.
This does not mean God has thrown you away, or turned His back on you. It simply means that we must come to a place of repentance and change in the areas of our lives God is working on at that time. He still loves us, even though we grieve Him, but we will know when we have grieved the Holy Spirit because we no longer feel His presence.
God has given us many examples of what is displeasing to Him. He spoke of Israel in the wilderness:
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not." Jude, verse 5
God destroyed His people in the wilderness because of unbelief. God had promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey, but they would not enter in. When the spies were sent into the promise land, they found giants in the land. The people cried that they could not enter in because of the giants. When the spies came back they proclaimed:
". . .We were in our own sight as grassshoppers, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:33
When we see ourselves as grasshoppers, the enemy will also see us this way. Unbelief can separate us from God. Unbelief is the lack of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. But unbelief goes deeper than the lack of faith. The word unbelief means "not believing". When we do not believe, we are calling God a liar. We are calling His Word untruth. We cannot act upon God's Word if we do not believe every word in the Bible are His inspired words.
God's Word contains His promises. His promises reveal our inheritance. What is our inheritance? The whole earth is our inheritance. But there are giants occupying our inheritance. Many times satan is given the roll of giant in many people's lives. But satan has no power unless we give it to him. Has satan become a giant in your land?
There are many other giants in the land of our inheritance. Some examples are: oppressive governments that have control of people's lives, the monetary system in the hands of a few, and corrupt legal systems that are more interested in the criminal than the victim.
God told Israel He would send hornets before them. When Joshua set foot in the Promise Land, the first person he faced was a man with a drawn sword. When Joshua asked him if he was for them or against them, he answered that he was the Captain of the Lord of Hosts.
The Lord of Hosts is the God of war. The word captain is the Hebrew word SAR and means "prince, or son of the king". Who is the Son of the King? It is the incarnate Christ who was going before Israel to clear the enemy from their promise land. Because Christ was with them as their head, their victory was assured. The same incarnate Christ will go before us to clear our promise land. But if we operate in fear, we, as Israel, will not enter in. We will be separated from God. We need to be as Caleb, crying:
"Give me my mountain while I can still see it." Joshua 14
When Israel left Egypt all had received the promise of entering into their inheritance. It is estimated that between six hundred thousand and three million left Egypt. When the spies returned and Israel refused to enter in to take the land, God pronounced judgment upon all Israelites twenty years of age or older. All those over twenty would die in the wilderness. Israel was required to wonder in the "Iron Furnace" for forty years until all those who operated in unbelief were dead. Only Joshua and Caleb would be over sixty when they entered the Promise Land.
Caleb and Joshua were men who believed God. God needs the Calebs and Joshuas to take the land today. Caleb and Joshua were the only spies Moses had sent to spy out the land who would enter into the promise land. All the others spies died in the wilderness because of unbelief.
When we do not believe God, His Word, or His promises, we are operating in unbelief. We will not be a part of what God is doing in the earth. What else can separate us from God?
False Prophets and False Teachers
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude, verse 6
The angels (messengers) who followed satan did not keep their first estate in God. They fell into error because they listened to the wrong voice. Today, there are many false teachers, false apostles, and false prophets pulling away many well-meaning people of God.
Many churches have eliminated any mention of the Spirit in the church. Some have eliminated all use of the blood. Without the blood and the Spirit there is no salvation. Without salvation the church has no function.
The church has become the dividing point between God and His people by not teaching the people to go on into God. Instead, many are taught to believe doctrines, the traditions of men. The people have not been taught to seek God on a personal basis or to hear the Father's voice. Therefore, they are destined to listen to the voice of man instead of the voice of God. By listening to man's voice, they have been separated from God by the church that is supposed to show them the way to God.
The church has become so perverted in their way of thinking, they no longer allow God to rule and reign in their leadership and in the flock. Man has taken over, and left God outside the church doors. They are no longer walking in the pureness of the Spirit, but in the lust of the flesh.
"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude, verse 7
Today, all the world thinks about is sex; natural and perverted. Jude was speaking of homosexuality, lesbianism, and transvestites, and perverted sex. Concerning sex, God did not give us a choice. When God created man, He created man, male and female, Genesis 5:2. And God said His creation was good. He said that man should not lay with man, or woman with woman, or man with beast. All who participate in these acts of perverted sex are an abomination unto God. God will separate all these from His presence.
One of the greatest abominations in the church is that man has ordained homosexuals, lesbians, and transvestites to stand in the pulpits.
"We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house." Jeremiah 51:51
Strangers, those who do not know God, have come to stand in the Holy place. How can those who do not know God or His ways, teach a people to walk with God?
Can a homosexual, lesbian, or transvestite accept God? Yes! But when they do, their old life must change before they can become a new creation. As Paul declared:
". . .Behold all things are become new" II Corinthians 5:17.
The same goes for adultery, fornication, or any other sex sin which are sins against the body, I Corinthians 6:18. Paul spoke to the Romans about their uncleanness and iniquity.
"I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." Romans 6:19
Paul told the Romans it was because of their uncleanness and iniquity that they had infirmity (sickness) in the flesh. Paul was speaking of physical uncleanness as well as Spiritual uncleanness.
Today, the world is suffering from AIDS. Aids is an infirmity of the flesh and is God's judgment on sin. God simply removed the healing power out of the body because of their sin and uncleanness of the flesh. All these will separate us from God.
"Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." Jude, verse 8
Filthy dreamers are those who despise dominion, which means they hate authority, any authority that is set over them: on the job, in the church, in the government. They hate all authority. The phrase filthy dreamer means "free thinkers"; people who believe they are free to do or think anything they choose to, as long as it satisfies the flesh.".
The era of free thinkers began in the 1960's when the college kids burned college campuses; rebelling against all authority and moral restraint. It was OK for the unmarried to live together. They called it free sex; or sexual freedom. It was also called communal living where there was so called freedom. Everyone slept with everybody, and there were no marital ties.
This animalistic attitude toward sex was indicative of all free thinkers. They completely ignored the moral standard set down in God's Word stating that every man was to have his own wife, and that every wife was to have her own husband.
Free thinkers always rebel against God. The attitude was: "We have a right to do these things." This has led to Children's Lib where children are individuals and parents have no rights under the law to tell them what to do.
The law says that correction is child abuse and the state can take the children. But God's Word says,
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son. . ." Proverbs 13:24.
Free thinkers say children have their rights just as adults. They need no correction. This only leads to disobedience and rebellion in the child's life.
Free thinkers began Women's Lib which states women are equal with men and should have their own careers. This has become satan's main tool to destroy the home. The Bible is very clear that the wife is to be subject to her own husband. When there are two independent people living in the same house, it will never become a home.
God never intended for man and wife to be independent from each other. When God instituted the family, he revealed: ". . .the man was to leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife; and they should be one flesh, Genesis 2:24.
There is another group of free thinkers in the church. These say, "If you do not think it is sin, then it is not sin. You may sin with moderation." These are new-age teachings which have crept into the church. Jeremiah spoke of these:
"Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?" Jeremiah 7:9-10
These people use their free gift of forgiveness as a license to sin. When we listen to the filthy dreamers and follow the ways of the freethinkers, this will separate us from God.
Jealousy and Anger
"Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." Jude, verse 11
Jude speaks of three men:
Cain, Balaam, and Core (Korah).
What was Cain's sin? Jealousy. Cain's jealousy continued until he killed his brother, Abel. Jealousy generally leads to violence in one form or another. When Cain and Abel brought their sacrifices before the Lord, Cain's sacrifice was the works of his hands (fruits of the ground).
Abel's sacrifice was the firstling of the flock. Abel's sacrifice represented the shedding of blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.
When Cain's sacrifice was rejected, he became very angry. God told Cain that sin lieth at the door because of this anger and jealousy, Genesis 4:7. But Cain's anger grew into a rage, until he killed Abel. Perhaps jealousy and anger will not go that far, but sin was at Cain's door before he killed Abel, and sin is at anyone's door when they are jealous or angry. This will separate us from God.
Balaam was a seer of God who taught Israel to marry heathen wives and husbands, even though God told them not to marry the heathen, or learn the heathen ways, or to worship the heathen gods.
Today, the church does not teach against being unequally yoked with unbelievers, II Corinthians 6:14. Today, the churches are full of women who are married to unbelieving husbands and husbands with unbelieving wives. If there is no unity in the home, there can be no unity in the church. Those who are unequally yoked live in constant turmoil. This hinders their Spiritual walk with God. This can separate us from God and grieve the Holy Spirit. Paul exhorts us:
"Quench not the Spirit," I Thessalonians 5:19.
When the home is not in unity, the Holy Spirit is hindered from moving freely in the home. This quenches the Holy Spirit. Even though there may not be separation from God, God's activity in the believer is hindered. Their Spiritual life is not what it could be if there was not the unequal yoking with an unbeliever. No believer can move freely in the Spirit when they are unequally yoked.
When believers are unequally yoked in business, the believer wants to run his business by God's principles. The unbelievers, on the other hand, are only interested in making money. They have no interest in God's principles or being righteous before God. So, again, there is no unity, only turmoil and disagreement. God's Spirit can not move freely in this situation, and the Spirit is quenched in the believer's life.
The Rebellion of Korah
The name Korah means "rebellion". Korah was a Levite and was of the priesthood tribe. Korah rebelled against Moses, God's chosen leadership. Korah said, "The whole congregation is holy. Why are you lifting yourself up above us? We are holy too," Numbers 16:3.
Rebellion against God's leadership will separate us from God. It was not only Korah who rebelled, but he lead 250 men in this rebellious act. Because of this, the earth opened up and swallowed them.
God dealt severely with the rebellion of Korah. We are informed in the New Testament to rebuke not an elder, I Timothy 5:1. Eldership is God's leadership in the church. The elder who rules well is worthy of double honor, I Timothy 5:17. The writer of Hebrews tells us to obey them that have the rule over us and submit ourselves, Hebrews 13:17. Those who are in rebellion toward God and His leadership are separated from God.
Let's review the things that separate us from God:
1 - Grieveing the Holy Spirit
2 - Wrath
3 - Clamour and Sowing Discord
4 - Evil Speaking
5 - Unbelief
6 - Following false prophets and false teachers
7 - Sexual sins
8 - Free thinkers
9 - Jealousy and Anger
10- Unequally yoked to unbelievers
11- Rebellion against God's authority
"What can separate us from the love of God?"
Nothing! In all things, God still loves us. But our spiritual impurities can separate us from God's presence. In order to be reinstated before Him, we must come to a place of repentance so we can again fellowship with God through the Spirit.
"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:8
God's total desire has always been to be in close communion with His creation, man. The Holy Spirit will convict us of what is separating us from God. We need to stay in a place of "repentance" so we may be restored to our rightful place in God.
WHAT CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD?
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Alphabetical Listing of George Kirkpatrick's Writings